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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri state Board of Education voted Friday to approve a plan to intervene in struggling school districts. It also sent the message that it will become more active in making sure districts adopt policies that will result in success.

The plan, revised from a draft version presented to the board last month, spells out various avenues of support that would be provided to or required of school districts depending on how well they score on their annual performance review.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Public schools in Kansas City, Missouri, will remain unaccredited.

The State Board of Education on Tuesday chose to take no action on a request by Kansas City Schools Superintendent R. Stephen Green to grant provisional accreditation, based on this year's assessment scores in which the district placed within the provisional range.  But State Board President Peter Herschend says there hasn't been sufficient improvement sustained over a period of time.

knittymarie / Flickr

With less than three months on the job, Normandy School District Superintendent Tyrone McNichols has a clear plan to regain accreditation from the state and a strong message about the help he needs to make that plan successful.

The main academic components of McNichols' plan involve a new literacy program in partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a new focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). As part of the focus on STEM, a new science program is being implemented through a partnership with Washington University.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

It was a busy day for the Missouri State Board of Education.

First, the Board heard from Kansas City Public Schools, which is seeking to regain provisional accreditation, citing "rapid improvement."

KWMU Staff

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its Annual Performance Report for Missouri school districts last week. It is the first year in which schools were assessed under new standards. The results disappointed many local leaders and leave plenty of room for improvement for a number of St. Louis area schools, including St. Louis Public Schools.

knittymarie / Flickr

This fall the unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District in north St. Louis County will cover transportation costs for students who transfer to the accredited Mehlville School District, which is about 20 miles away.  

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

Updated 5:34 p.m. to include comments from Chris Tennill of  the School District of Clayton

The Missouri Department Of Elementary & Secondary Education has issued its own guidelines for the transfer process of students from unaccredited districts to those which are accredited.

(Flickr/Claire Cook44)

School system performance is paramount for any family looking to move and start a family, as it was for Rob and Diane Pattershuk, when they moved to Ladue 20 years ago. 

They made a good choice – the district offers a several extracurricular activities, advanced placement classes, and was ranked as the top school in the state on this year’s Newsweek poll of America’s Best High Schools.

St. Louis Public Schools

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would lay the groundwork for restoring an elected school board for the city of St. Louis.

The city's school district regained provisional accreditation last September, and if it can maintain it for a full year, the bill would then require that a locally elected school board replace the state-appointed board on July 1st, 2014.  It’s sponsored by State Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis).

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Lawsuits brought by families who want the St. Louis school district to pay to send their children to an accredited suburban school district are in question after the St. Louis district regained its accreditation last week.

Missouri law requires unaccredited districts to pay tuition and transportation costs to send students living within their boundaries to accredited districts in the same or an adjoining county.

Several families who were already sending their children to school in Clayton sued the St. Louis district after it lost its accreditation in 2007.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:57 p.m. with comments from DESE's Margie Vandeven; Peter Herschend, State Board of Education President; and Chris Nicastro, Mo. Education Commissioner.

St. Louis schools are no longer unaccredited, following a unanimous vote today by the State Board of Education. The struggling district, which has been under state control for five years, will now have provisional, but not full, accreditation.

knittymarie / Flickr

St. Louis public schools will find out tomorrow if they’ll regain at least provisional accreditation from the State Board of Education.

St. Louis schools lost their accreditation five years ago and were soon after placed under state control, but they have improved over the past two years.  In 2010 they only met 3 out of 14 performance standards, with six being the minimum require for provisional accreditation.  Last year they met the minimum six, and this year they’ve met seven performance standards.  State Board Member Peter Herschend (R) says, though, there’s no guarantee the vote will go St. Louis’s way.

(via St. Louis Public Schools)

On Tuesday the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will consider granting provisional accreditation to St. Louis Public Schools, and the religious group Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) plans to push state officials to move forward with re-instating local control over the district.

Sunday, the religious group held its annual public meeting and Barbara Paulus, who leads the Economic Task Force for MCU, said earning back accreditation is a key part of ensuring kids get the education they’re entitled to.

(via Flickr/cayoup)

On the heels of improving test scores and other accountability measures that were reported last month, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will decide whether to grant St. Louis Public Schools provisional accreditation on Oct. 16.  

Even though he is optimistic about the chances that the district will begin to earn back local control as soon as next month, Superintendent Kelvin Adams says that isn’t the only measure of success.

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Missouri lawmakers will again push legislation aimed at preventing an exodus of Kansas City and St. Louis students from their failing schools and overwhelming neighboring districts.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled last year that students living in unaccredited districts are owed free transfers and that accredited schools must take the students. The courts continue to work out the details.

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
(via Google Maps screen capture)

The State Board of Education has voted unanimously to keep the Normandy School District in St. Louis County provisionally accredited.

Normandy may retain that status for up to a year -- however, the State Board could also choose to revoke the provisional accreditation entirely at any time during the next year.  State Board Member Peter Herschend says Normandy schools are improving, but not enough to warrant full accreditation.